New Delhi, Aug 17: The work in all the six district courts here came to a grinding halt today as lawyers observed a day-long strike to protest the arrest of Gandhian Anna Hazare and non-inclusion of higher judiciary in the Lokpal Bill.
The co-ordination committee of all bar associations of Delhi, in a release, said lawyers abstained from their work at six district court complexes—Patiala House, Tis Hazari, Saket, Karkardooma, Rohini and Dwarka—in Anna's support.
The day-long strike by the lawyers led to adjournment of the proceedings in various cases, including that in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case at Patiala House court complex.
Special CBI Judge O P Saini, who was scheduled to hear arguments by DB group company directors Asif Balwa and Rajeev Agarwal, opposing framing of charges against them, adjourned the hearing after striking lawyers requested him and the defence counsel for it. The court would now hear arguments tomorrow.
Around 100 lawyers, affiliated to ‘Adhivakta Parishad', a wing of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), also organised a protest outside the Delhi High Court premises to protest the arrest of Anna Hazare and his co-activists. They later marched to India Gate to join other protesters.
“His (Anna's) talks have the weight and common men are with him. Corruption is an issue which must be addressed immediately as it is affecting the country,” Thakur Virendra Pratap, a member of Adhivakta Parishad, said.
The lawyers also organised ‘dharnas' and held rallies at Shahdara as well as ISBT Kashmere Gate to express their solidarity with Hazare, and recited bhajans of Mahatma Gandhi before beginning their march, the lawyers' body said.
“The lawyers of Delhi are of unanimous opinion that Anna Hazare is the only hope for the country who can impress upon the government to enact strong laws to put an end to the menace of corruption.
“We outrightly reject the government view that country requires a different forum to deal with judges and other high ranking officials while other forum would deal with all others,” Rajiv Khosla, spokesperson of the committee, said.
“The lawyers say that the present bill on Lokpal would be a non-starter as it is not deterrent to those who indulges in corruption and provides no power or authority to Lokpal to take action independently against corrupt official even after getting sufficient proof of his guilt,” he said.
The lawyer's body said the government's draft bill on Lokpal is most “ineffective in dealing and provide sufficient punishment to corrupt officials whereas, surprisingly, it provides harsh punishment to the complainant.”
Lawyers said they would resume their work from tomorrow but clarified that their agitation would continue to support Anna in his crusade against corruption. The committee would hold meeting tomorrow to decide on its future course of action. PTI